BBC Radio Leeds

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BBC Radio Leeds
BBC Radio Leeds.png
CityLeeds
Broadcast areaWest Yorkshire
SloganYour station for Yorkshire
FrequencyFM: 92.4, 95.3, 102.7, 103.9 MHz
MW: 774 kHz
DAB: Digital Radio
Freeview: Channel 719
First air date24 June 1968
FormatLocal news, talk and music
Language(s)English
OwnerBBC Local Radio,
BBC Yorkshire
WebsiteBBC Radio Leeds

BBC Radio Leeds is the BBC Local Radio service for the English metropolitan county of West Yorkshire. The station broadcasts from studios based in St Peter's Square in Leeds.

History[edit]

The station began broadcasting at the Merrion Centre at 5.30pm on 24 June 1968, becoming the 7th station to go on air. Initially a two-year experiment and co-funded by Leeds City Council, the station was only available in Leeds on a low powered 50 watt VHF transmitter in Meanwood Park, on 94.6 MHz.[1] listening figures were very low as the majority of listeners still listened to radio via AM. In 1970 the station was made permanent and began broadcasting to all of West Yorkshire from the Holme Moss transmitting station and in 1972 the station started broadcasting on MW and branded itself as “the voice of West Yorkshire”.[2]

In 1974 BBC Radio Leeds, along with BBC Look North, moved to new studios in Woodhouse Lane, where it remained for thirty years until the studio was demolished in 2004.

Until the mid 1980s the station was generally on air from breakfast until teatime, with any programming after 6pm devoted to specialist music and magazines aimed at specialist interests and at ethnic minority communities. These programmes did not broadcast all year round. In August 1986, evening programmes began on a permanent basis when the station joined with the other three BBC stations in Yorkshire to provide an early evening service of specialist music programmes on weeknights from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, extending a year later to six days a week (Wednesday to Monday) between 7 pm and 9 pm with Tuesdays reserved for local sports coverage. May 1989 saw the launch of BBC Night Network which saw the BBC Local Radio stations in the North of England broadcasting networked programming every evening from 6:05 pm (6 pm at the weekend) and midnight, extending to 12:30 am in the early 1990s, and to 1 am by the end of that decade. During this period, the station was branded as “West Yorkshire’s FM BBC Radio Leeds.”

BBC Radio Leeds' main studios are at the BBC Yorkshire buildings on St. Peter's Square in Leeds.

In 2012, the station shut down its offices and studios at the National Media Museum in Bradford, where the public was able to see programmes being broadcast. Radio Leeds also operated district newsrooms and contribution studios in Wakefield Town Hall, at Dean Clough in Halifax and at Huddersfield Town Hall. Four years later, the station reinstated an office and studio in Bradford, located in the Horton building at The University of Bradford.

BBC Radio Leeds was the home of BBC Local Radio’s networked evening show[3] which was broadcast from the start of 2013 until local weeknight evening programming was reintroduced in autumn 2018.[4]

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 216,000 listeners and a 4.3% share as of December 2018.[5]

Transmitters[edit]

The main VHF/FM transmitter is located at the Holme Moss transmitting station on 92.4 MHz, covering most of West Yorkshire. Unusually, this transmitter also transmits neighbouring services Radio Manchester and Radio Sheffield from separate directional aerials on the mast.

Radio Leeds is also carried on the Wharfedale and Luddenden relay transmitters on 95.3 MHz, from Keighley on 102.7 and from Beecroft Hill (West Leeds) on 103.9 MHz to fill in areas which are screened from Holme Moss by the topology of the area. The medium wave service on 774 kHz is transmitted from Farnley (also known as Leeds MF).

Since 2001, BBC Radio Leeds has also been carried on the Bauer Leeds DAB multiplex, and since October 2002, on the Bradford & Huddersfield Multiplex. Live streaming is available from the station's website and in 2015 the station began broadcasting throughout the BBC Yorkshire area on Freeview Channel 719.

Programming[edit]

BBC Radio Leeds being broadcast from the Merrion Centre in 2018.

The majority of the station's programming is produced and broadcast from Leeds, the station's local presenters include Richard Stead (weekday breakfast), Stephanie Hirst (weekday mornings), Liz Green (weekday afternoons) and Gayle Lofthouse (weekday drivetime).

During the station's overnight downtime, BBC Radio Leeds simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live (weekdays from 1 am to 5 am and weekends from 1 am to 6 am).

Sports coverage[edit]

A BBC Radio Leeds vehicle as seen at Headingley during a one-day cricket match in 2009.

BBC Radio Leeds broadcasts commentaries on many Football and Rugby league games involving Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City, and a number of Rugby League teams including Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Castleford Tigers. Rugby Union with Yorkshire Carnegie and coverage of Yorkshire County Cricket Club in all formats.

BBC Radio Leeds is the only station in West Yorkshire that covers all home and away live match commentaries on Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City.

Management[edit]

Managing Editor: Sanjiv Buttoo

Notable former presenters[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "VHF Broadcast Re-planning". Ofcom.org.uk. 8 January 2002. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  2. ^ BBC Radio Leeds at 50
  3. ^ "Mark Forrest to host BBC networked show". Radio Today. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. ^ BBC Media Centre Tony Hall pledges a "renaissance" for BBC local radio as the service marks its 50th anniversary
  5. ^ "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°47′50.6″N 1°32′01.8″W / 53.797389°N 1.533833°W / 53.797389; -1.533833